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Old 9th November 2009, 02:07 PM   #11
stoc005 is offline stoc005  United States
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I don't get it. Our current customer (military) prohibits the use of no lead solder. Something about tin whiskers. So, we are using leaded (63/37) for all the SMT and repair work. I can still buy leaded solder here in the US. We have BGA parts with no lead balls reballed with leaded solder balls. Life go on here, with or without the lead. RoHS does not apply to some products as it turns out so you can still buy leaded solder in the US.
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Old 9th November 2009, 02:45 PM   #12
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I tried lead-free solder -- hated it!

Now I use some .5 mm germany-made 60% solder, 38% lead and 2% copper... wonderful. Better than the Cardas quad-eutectic I used before, in that you don't have to clean the flux residuals, which it produces a very little amount of. The Cardas was much dirtier.
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Old 9th November 2009, 05:04 PM   #13
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I thought I'd let my experience be known. I spent 50 bucks on a roll of Kester tin/silver/copper solder and it makes crappy joints at any temperature with the optimum range being very hard to hit too. It eats tips so fast I stuck a 16 penny nail in my old 25 watt Weller and filed it into operation, which is much more compatible with the solder but a little light on the thermal conductivity, especially with only 25 watts to work with. In the end I mostly use the lead free roll to hold the scope cables to the bench, and 60/40 to solder. Very disappointing. I don't even think it is much less toxic on balance. It doesn't stink as much and the buzz is different but still no good.
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Old 1st October 2010, 08:11 AM   #14
nar is offline nar
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I personally use Cardas Tri-Eutectic now, gives very good soldering results with the Weller. Playing with the temp showed me that unlike seen in Post #2, I need to go for 260 C for a good melting point. Lower temp doesn't give the flux the opportunity to wet the traces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinitus View Post
It may sound strange, but the only lead free I have used made me pretty sick at every solder job
Pretty awful smoke
Im sure its toxic, and maybe even more than lead solder
Try the Cardas Tri-Eutectic, it ... smells wonders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinitus View Post
I have found some cheap lead solder fore heavy jobs
Also bought some SMD solder, which should be very clean, but havent tried it yet
Need to buy some solder with silver

But no doubt, cigarette smoking taste pretty awful after soldering
Sure, That's why I stopped 2,5 years ago

Regards,

nAr
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Last edited by nar; 1st October 2010 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 15th June 2011, 06:09 AM   #15
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Still get lead solders at Mc Master Carr, and if you want good lead free solder try Indium based ones...It just $125 US for 9 feet, but it will wet almost anything, even glass.
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Old 17th June 2011, 07:39 PM   #16
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I hate lead-free solder.
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Old 17th June 2011, 08:16 PM   #17
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SN62 or SN63 Kester "44" rosin is the only way to fly. You should also have a bottle of rosin flux for tough jobs.

Actually if I'm building a board from scratch I like the water washable Kester, "331" I think, but still leaded. If you use a water washable you must wash it within some hours of finishing- the stuff is corrosive and electrically conductive.

We use lead free at work and it's possible to do an OK job with it, but the joints can never look as nice as leaded, plus I'm paranoid about tin whiskers; they're a real issue and can eventually cause failures. IMHO the whole switch to lead free solder was ill considered in terms of total impact and unexpected consequences.
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Old 17th June 2011, 11:32 PM   #18
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Bring back tetramethyl lead. Oil would go to abou $20/bbl

Article in one of the NYTimes this week about the motor-cycle battery industry in China -- seems that an unexpectedly high number of children in the village are suffering from severe developmental disorders. This is one of those issues in which the exercise of some diligence averts disaster, and malfeasance creates a catastrophe.
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Old 18th June 2011, 02:39 AM   #19
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Hey, fill 'er up with Ethyl! IMO, lead solder wasn't causing significant problems but you're right about some degree of diligence. You want disaster, look at the people recovering gold using mercury.
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Old 18th June 2011, 03:20 AM   #20
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lead free solder should be only used in cheap stuff you don't mind failing in 3-5 years.


BGA technology sucks to begin with, and lead-free is even worse, ( easy for cold solder joints to form and does not hold up to extreme hot/cold and even weaker mechanical bond )
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